Go to top of page

I need to stay strong and hang in there but it is so hard

Debt amount: 
Date debt issued: 
Thursday, 15 December 2016
Period debt occurred: 
July 2011 to December 2013
Has your case been referred to a collection agency?: 
Payment Type: 
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?: 
Yes in process
Tell us about your debt and how has this affected you? e.g. anxiety levels, financial and accommodation stress: 

-I am scared that it's never going to end. I am just so sick and tired of dealing with it and not getting anywhere.
-I need to stay strong and hang in there but it is so hard.

-The government is an arrogant, incompetent thief. They are extorting money from me. I have never hated a government more in my life. Turnbull, Tudge and Porter are repulsive.

-For a year I was paying $100 a fortnight believing I owed the debt. Money was really tight but we persevered. We could have used that money for our household bills.

-I have spent whole weekends collecting information.
-It has affected my marriage.
-It has caused tension from my manager at work as I needed to call Centrelink during work.

-I worry about it constantly.
-I am disillusioned that I did the right thing, yet I am being pursued and punished.

How do you feel about the way the Government has handled this process?: 

- I submitted tax returns each year and have all of my payslips but was accused of not reporting correctly.
- When working my daily rate was quite good, eg a casual teacher can make $300 a day. However there were large amounts of time where I was on maternity leave, a casual or unemployed.

- At first they raised the debt. I believed them and started paying it.
-Once the whistle blowers spoke out I stopped paying and started investigating my own situation and realised I didn't owe the debt at all.

-I complained to Centrelink and eventually an authorised review officer called, pretending to be on my side. Then I got a poorly written letter stating I was still wrong, and still in debt. The debt letter admitted to using the computer algorithm, admitted to using a fortnightly equation and admitted payslips were not used.

-I complained to Centrelink and was told I could complain to AAT. But only for 3 of the Debt IDs (I have 5 in total).
There are 5 debt IDs against my name but Centrelink would only let AAT carrying out a hearing on 3 of them because 2 are with the Family Assistance Office. Centrelink has recently sent me a letter with the 5 Debt ID numbers in the one document. They are only efficient when it suits them. They deliberately sabotage the process the rest of the time.

-I had to take a day off work to attend the hearing at the AAT Tribunal. The AAT decision was that it was highly unlikely my debt was as high as Centrelink is saying and instructed Centrelink to recalculate. AAT believed the decision would have a “flow on” effect for the other debt IDs.
-No surprise from me that Centrelink has blatantly ignored the instruction and is still pursuing me for the money.

-I have repeatedly asked the Family Assistance Office for an independent review of the other debt IDs, and tried to get it done in time for the AAT hearing so the debts could be resolved together but it hasn’t happened.

-The AAT informed me they can't force Centrelink to actually DO what they were asked. So now I have start all over again by complaining to the ombudsmen.

-The government has stolen my 16/17 tax return worth $3600 and it put towards the "debt"
-I sit in the kitchen at work on hold with Centrelink for hours, when I should be at my desk working.

-It is a deliberate attempt to extort money.
-The government should not be allowed to get away with it.